Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I Wanna Be MADE.

This post is part of Writer's Workshop at Mama Kat's Losin' It!

When I saw this prompt this week, I knew I couldn't pass it up. I had an encounter with MADE. And I was not in high school. How, you ask?


Since I was little, all I wanted to do was gymnastics. My grandma taught me how to do a cartwheel when I was five and it was all downhill from there. My father always wanted a son sports star, but he was stuck with a girl so he pushed me into every sport imaginable. I played soccer, softball, basketball, volleyball, and random other things on occasion. I did dance once on my own accord, and quit after a few weeks--rhythm is something I don't have.

But damn did I have good balance.

We built our own house (literally...my dad, mom, uncles, grandpa built the house) in the mid-90's, and for a long time the basement was unfinished. It was just concrete with a few poles, and a washer and dryer. And a pile of nice, smooth, long, skinny pieces of wood.

Welcome to the birth of the homemade balance beam. It was amazing, and I can't tell you how many cartwheels I did on that ridiculously unstable board, and I (almost) always stayed on it. Balance beam was my event--I could out-trick any kid my age on that thing.

Except I never got to take gymnastics.

I did once, with girl scouts, a few years before that. It was a week-long "camp." But gymnastics was too expensive and too risky and too non-boyish, and how could I possibly have time to do that when I was playing 4 other sports?

But I watched the olympic gymnastics faithfully, and as long as I can remember Dominique Moceanu has been my sports hero. I just settled for the homemade balance beam in my basement, the backyard cartwheels, roundoffs, and back bends, and the front tucks on the trampoline.

So when MADE came on, I held onto my dream. I said "hey, if that tomboy can be made into a pageant queen, then I could certainly be made into a gymnast." So I watched, hoping some mind-reader would eventually show up at my door and tell me that I was about to be MADE into a gymnast.

I guess all the mind-readers were on vacation, because that never happened. But early on in college, MADE came up with a new website. I think it was iwannabemade.com. I got on it and played around for awhile, and then grew some balls and submitted my story about wanting to be made into a gymnast.

A few weeks later, I was seriously surprised to see an email in my inbox from MTV. No, not one of those automated "thank you for your story" emails, no. That would be lame and I would not tell you about it. No. This email said "We are very interested in your story. Please tell us this this and this and we will get back to you about filming. We'd like to film and air your MADE story in the 2007 season. Thanks, MTV."

Or something like that.

I was floored. I said, "they WHAAA?!" and then I never emailed them back. Because I was in college. And too cool for MTV MADE.

We won't talk about the cartwheel I may or may not have done in the middle of work the other day. No, we won't.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sure, I'll Hand-Cancel 162 Envelopes

Any guesses as to what we've spent our entire week doing?

...any guesses as to what headed to a million different states and two countries today? ;D

In other news...I've decided that no one is pretty when they yawn. Really. Even babies. Even Brady looked like a small lion when she yawned as an infant...and she was normally pretty ;)

Lastly, a friend of mine just found out on Monday that she was selected to travel to the Republic of Congo for a missions trip. I'm trying really hard to be excited for her, but really I'm just deathly worried. I know this is hypocritical, since I dropped myself into Kenya in the middle of a genocide...but the war in Congo, it's just different. I remember saying a few years ago, "There are a lot of dangerous places I'd go but, as a woman, I would never go to Congo." It's not changed. I don't know why I know stuff like this, but if it's a country in Africa I'm pretty familiar with what's going on. Those of you who are not aware of the issues in Congo, do just the tiniest bit of research and find out. It's not good, and it's not changing--it's kind of being ignored, and that's really sad. I'm super worried for Tiff, but glad she has the guts to go.

I'll post about the bridalshower(s) gift explosion in our living room soon.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Moovin' Monday - Week 3

Hosted by Casey @ Ever Changing Life!

I promised to get this in on Monday, and I still have 27 minutes to do that :)

The requirements:
1. No fast food.
2. Work out 3 times.
3. Post/link up on Mondays.

Well, I worked out twice: tennis with a racquetball with Little Man (trust me, 9 year olds planning tennis create an instant workout), and a fun 1am spontaneous 400 crunches/50 situps/10 pushups workout). As far as the fast food...well, technically I think I lost that this week. I had a kids hotdog meal at Target the other day. But none other than that!

Sorry this isn't longer and more detailed, but this is the first time I've spent 5 minutes NOT working on something all day! And I'm exhausted, so I'm headed to bed!

No serious plans for this week as far as Moovin' March is concerned, but I did just turn down an offer for Abby's and made fettucini alfredo instead. Things are looking up ;D

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Okay, who's sleeping on the top bunk?

Most people have their bachelorette party at a bar...or a collection of bars...but, then again, I've never claimed to be 'most people.' Nor have I ever claimed to enjoy being in a bar.

I have always been very straight forward about my hatred for cold weather, however. So, instead of a bar, we spent the day and night here:

Those of you who don't have one of these glorious things near your home, Great Wolf Lodge is a giant indoor water park. None of us had ever been there, and it was not cheap by any means, but it was absolutely worth every cent!

But, did we book an adult room? Pfft. That's for wieners. We book a "kids cabin." Complete with bunk beds, a real bed, a balcony, fireplace, two sinks, and nintendo.

We found it just a tad ridiculous that we couldn't get into our room until 4, but sucked it up and waited...or, rather, changed into our bathing suits in the parking lot while avoided awkward glances from strangers. It was amazingly nice outside, though, and after we got our room we stood on the balcony in said bathing suits and it wasn't even cold out...amazing.

Then we headed down to the waterpark. This place was AMAZING. Tons of waterslides, fun play areas, a "creep across the lilypads while holding onto a net and look like an idiot as an adult while doing so" section, and too many dumping water buckets to even count. There is one waterslide called the rollercoaster, that really runs like one, taking you up and down instead of the standard down, and is covered by a net to catch you when your tube flies off the slide. I may or may not have screamed like a small child on that.

We showered and headed down to dinner afterwards, where we were greeted with an hour wait and this giant wolf who somehow managed to hold my boob without me even noticing.

And almost all 9 of us had this gorgeous and delicious 32oz "meg-o-rita."

So of course it was time for twister, and to break out the henna tattoos.

But, all-in-all we were a pretty mild group, and not one hangover ensued the next day for my bridal shower! Have another shower this weekend, and I'll report on those together next week!

Are You Sure You Want to Wear That?!

Today I took my wedding dress down to a seamstress in the bridal district. I suggested that we use someone not in the bridal district because I knew it would be more expensive there. But, my mom insisted that we go there because she wanted someone who specialized in bridal gowns. Of course, I agreed, and went.

I had several odd conversations with this particular seamstress. Starting with this one, that was the only time during the entire hour I was there that she actually attempted to make a human connection with us:

Seamlady, lacing up the corset back: "Tell me if it's too tight and you can't breathe."
Me: "Nah, it's not important that I breathe."
Seamlady: "Yes, it is. I've had two girls pass out in here and I'm not about to have another one."

Dually noted. Of course, the whole time I was standing on the podium after that I was just replaying that scene from Pirates of the Caribbean where Elizabeth faints because of her corset and falls off the side of the castle and into the bay.

Then, the lovely seamstress decided that she did not want me to wear a slip, this slip I proudly purchased two weeks ago.

Seam: "Why do you want to wear a hoop slip?"
Me: "Because it was cheap."
...she was very unimpressed with that answer.
Me: "I definitely want a slip to make the bottom of the dress fuller, but as far as a hoop over a tulle slip, it was just because it was what I found at a decent price."
Seam: "Well, most of these dresses have tulle in them to puff it out."
Mom: "She just wants a little more on the bottom."
Seam: "Let's just see without it."
she makes me take it off.
Seam: "See?"
Seam: "But if you think you want to wear the slip, put it on before I start tacking."
Mom: "She just likes it more full on the bottom, plus it keeps it away from her feet"
I put it back on.
Mom: "There."
Seam: "Are you sure you want to wear a slip?"
Mom: "She likes it."
Seam: "I mean, you can if you want, I've just never had a girl go through with wearing a hoop slip."
Seam: "But there's a first time for everything."

After our hour fight about the slip, I won and got to wear it. Then she hit us with the bill for the alterations and steaming.

Let's talk small budget here. My dress is awesome, i love it, and I only shopped certain pricetag racks. It was $600.

Alterations? $468.

That's almost as much as the dress cost itself! Not cool, non-people-skill-hoop-slip-hating-seamstress-lady. Not cool.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tuesday Tribute: Compassion

First, before the Tribute, please make some time to stop over to the Marsh's blog or find this lovely family here on twitter. Their baby girl, Layla Grace, lost her battle with neuroblastoma at only two and a half this morning. They can use all the good thoughts in the world right now.

This month's Tuesday Tribute is for Compassion, Int.

It took until tonight for me to pick a cause for March, because so many great causes have just come to my attention.

But I chose Compassion because Jennifer, mostly known as "MckMama," is currently in Kenya blogging for Compassion with her husband, and it seemed like a great way to get more support for them.

Compassion is a fabulous child sponsorship program. Started in 1952, Compassion now helps more than a million children in 25 countries in Asia, Africa, South America, Central America and the Caribbean, and for $38 a month per child.

Those of you who have been hanging around here for awhile know that I am not a religious person. No, I am not. But, this organization is. Although I don't consider myself religious, I do think there is a certain strength that comes with religion that can't be found elsewhere--and that strength comes out heavily in charitable organizations. Especially when many of these kids really have nothing to hope for, it gives them the opportunity to have faith in something bigger than themselves.

The best thing about Compassion, in my opinion, is that the $38 a month is not just generically used. The money is put towards the things each individual child needs the most. If it's food, they get food. If it's shoes, they get shoes. If it's an education, then it's school. Each child is considered on an individual basis, and that is great.

Compassion's services span widely. They have a Child Survival Program, which starts before birth. They have the child sponsorship program, and then they have a Leadership Development Program. And the types of children Compassion sponsors also have a wide range, from birth through 21, children with disabilities, and children living with AIDS.

It's also great that Compassion allows for personal connections between the sponsored child and their sponsor. It's not a simple "send this money in and we'll send you info about what it's going towards," no. As a sponsor, you sponsor one child and you get to exchange letters and pictures with them and maybe even get the chance to visit them in their own country.

I've always had a soft spot in my heart for children like these. But, you cannot understand how much your $38 a month impacts them until you are able to see first hand what their living conditions are really like.

I went to Kenya a couple years ago, and it changed the way I looked at the world completely. One day while we were there, we took the time to live the life of real Kenyans. We left our concrete-floor mudhut complete with actual cots and mosquito nets for the day, wrapped our shaws around us, and lived as a native for the entire day. We collected food to cook (kasaba) in the morning for lunch with the amazing Kenyan women, we followed the Kenyan men as they captured and killed a chicken for dinner, and then went hunting--although they scared away a DikDik and only managed to come home with a turtle, which we couldn't bring ourselves to eat so we let it go. We hiked down to the well with buckets, which we then filled with water and carried back on our heads. I had a 2-month-old baby boy strapped to my back as I helped make pine-thatching for the roof while the other women went to gather sticks for the fire, which they carried back on their heads. All the while sitting in a tiny pavilion area, next to the one-room homes that all of these amazing people made their lives in, and sleep on the floor of. A lot of times, these kids didn't even have shoes, which in Kenya is especially bad because they have these things called "jiggers" that get underneath toenails and multiple until the nail is lost. A simple pair of shoes helps these kids so much.

A lot of these things living conditions are common in all of the areas Compassion reaches. And a minimum of 80% of the money Compassion raises go directly to the kids, and that is wonderful. If you'd like to sponsor a child, check out the Sponsor a Child page at Compassion. They are doing amazing things.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Get MOOvin' Monday

Hosted by Casey at The Everchanging Life.

This game has three simple rules:

1. No fast food for March
2. Exercise 3 times a week
3. Post about it on Mondays

I have good news! I had no fast food! And I'm posting about it!

I did not exercise, however. Technically. But, I am counting the waterpark on Saturday as exercise. You have NO idea how big that stinking place was! So I'm saying I exercised once. Yes. Once. It's better than none...right?

But, this week I'm on spring break. So hopefully that'll change! It's also supposed to be 58 today, and 60 tomorrow :) I have a couple appointments tomorrow, but nothing to do today until Little Man gets home from school at 4. I think the park looks favorable for us today!

However, I did one of those 10 hour sleeps last night, woke up with a seriously rough throat, and have been sneezing like crazy...all of which usually indicates an illness about to hit, so hopefully I'll be avoiding that and exercising instead! :)

And and don't worry, I will not fail to blog about the bachelorette party! Tomorrow I think you'll be getting a Tuesday Tribute thrown at ya for March, and then Wednesday? It's all about the party ;)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Say Hey!

Today I worked all the daylight hours.

This week I may have gotten myself into something that I'm not sure I'm really okay with doing.

I can't remember if it was the kid or the dog that threw up on my pillow forcing me to get a new one, and I find that sad.

And one of my favorite co-workers moved seven hours away tonight.


Today it was 50 and sunny. I didn't even wear a coat. Tomorrow and Sunday are supposed to be IN the 50's! Heat wave!

Tomorrow is my bachelorette party, and we are partying "inn style" at an indoor waterpark...because we are adults deprived of heat. 80 degree weather, bathing suits, hot tubs.

Sunday is my first bridal shower with my family and friends. I may or may not have been checking the registries...daily.

This weekend is going to be wonderful! So everything else can wait until next week.

Besides...neither one of these two could be much cuter..

And, also, this song is making me evening, and is pretty much perfect for my stepdad:

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

About the Couple

I suppose I've never really done any "about us" or "my childhood" or anything kind of posts on here. I probably should...I've been on here a year and a half, it's probably time! But it's always awkward starting on a post like that...but I saw this little survey on G.I. Joe's Wife today, and it was pretty much perfect for an "about us" post!

1. What are your middle names?
Anne and Grant. Anyone want to guess what our son will be called??

2. How long have you been together?
A year and a half.

3. How long did you know each other before you started dating?
9 Years. Yes, we were a little dense.

4. Who asked who out?
He asked me out, technically, I suppose. But B isn't exactly a forward kind of person...so really I got a text message that said "hey, you want to go to dinner and a movie? I'll pay" and a relationship was born.

5. How old are each of you?
We're both 20-somethings, and only a few months apart.

6. Did you go to the same school?
We graduated high school together and went to middle school together, but did not go to the same college.

7. Are you from the same home town?
Yes. About 10 minutes from each other.

8. Who is the smartest?
It very much depends on the subject!

9. Who majored in what?
I'm majoring in Secondary English Education, he's in Criminal Justice and AF ROTC. For two more months...and then he's done!

10. Who is the most sensitive?
Definitely me.

11. Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Since we've been together, about five hours. We haven't done any big trips!

12. Who has the worst temper?
I do. He's usually very calm about things. Very. But the rolls are kind of switched when we fight...he wants to argue it out and I want to chill for a couple hours before discussing it with a cool head.

13. How many children do you want?
3. 2 biological, 1 adopted.

14. Who does the cooking?
No one. Seriously.

15. Who is more social?
I usually talk more in social situations, but B enjoys being with large social groups more than I do. Toss up, I guess!

16. Who is the neat freak?
Neither one of us. But, just for the record, we are not slobs either! ha!

17. Who is the most stubborn?

18. Who wakes up earlier?
When we have too, I'm usually up earlier. But when we don't, neither one of us gets up early.

19. Where was your first date?
I don't even remember. B would know. He's fabulous about knowing that kind of stuff.

20. Who has the bigger family?
We have equally huge families. He's got 8 aunts and uncles, I have 7 with my two parents, and with the steps included I have an additional 7.

21. Do you get flowers often?
Not weekly or anything, but I'd say often is a good word.

22. How do you spend the holidays?
We try to split our time as evenly as possible between families. Usually, my family goes out of town to other family on Thanksgiving, but I typically have to work so we go to his family. Christmas is like two straight days of "okay we have to run" to get to everyone!

23. Who is more jealous?
Probably me. But it's not usually vocalized.

24. How long did it take to get serious?
Not long at all. On our second date, we started talking about kids. I know that sounds crazy to you guys, but we had known each other for 9 years already and had been really good friends for the latter 5 years, so it happened really quickly for us.

25. Who eats more?
At meals, I eat more. But B snacks constantly so it evens out.

26. What do you do for a living?
I'm a full-time student and I work retail part-time.

27. Who does the laundry?
Me. But B can iron. So that's a plus.

28. Who's better with the computer?
Neither one of us is really good with computers, to be honest. But I am more easily frustrated with them than B is.

29. Who drives when you are together?

30. What is your song?
We don't have one yet, but at the moment we plan on dancing to "My Best Friend" by Tim McGraw at the wedding!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Get Moovin' March!

I've decided to take part in a little thing called "Moovin' Monday" for "Get Moovin' March." It was started over at The Ever-Changing Life by Casey, and has caught my getting-married-in-two-months attention.

For the entire month of March, the rules of the game are:

No fast food.
Exercise at least 3 times a week.
And post your progress each Monday.

Fast food is kind of an issue for me...mostly because I don't often have time for "slow food." But, as my last fast food for February I decided to go for Arby's for dinner last night. This pretty much cured me of my need for fast food for awhile, as I've discovered that a trip to Arby's after 8pm always results in barely any meat and the meat that you get is always hard and gross. Problem solved. No fries, by the way. I have already committed to no fries until May.

I am allowing myself one weakness, however: Subway. And this is only because I get a very healthy sub, and I get the famous $5 footlong each time, and then I have lunch for two days on it. Fabulous.

The exercising will be fun. Interesting, anyway. Since 3 times a week is 3 times more than I do it now...so we'll see how that goes.

My initial plan for this year was to start dieting on Jan 1st through the wedding. Well, I started on Jan 1st. And stopped on Jan 7th. And started again on Feb 1st...and stopped on February 7th.

And have you seen that they have the reese's peanut butter eggs and creme eggs out already? Thanks, Jesus, for your chocolate holiday of diet doom.